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Severe Storms/Heavy Rain on April 26, 2017
 
A storm system ("L") and deep trough (dashed line) was the trigger for a severe weather and heavy rain event on 04/26/2017. Early in the event, the supercell (storms with rotating updrafts) composite chart showed that strong to severe storms were the most likely in eastern Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas, and northeast Texas.
Pattern at 100 pm CDT (04/26)  |  Supercell Composite at 100 am CDT (04/26)
In the pictures: A storm system ("L") and deep trough (dashed line) was the trigger for a severe weather and heavy rain event on 04/26/2017. Early in the event, the supercell (storms with rotating updrafts) composite chart showed that strong to severe storms were the most likely in eastern Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas, and northeast Texas.
 

An active April continued late on the 25th as a storm system intensified in the Plains. Ahead of the system, thunderstorms erupted in central and eastern Oklahoma. The storms plowed into northwest Arkansas between 1230 am and 100 am CDT on the 26th, and produced a lot of wind.

 

The satellite showed showers and thunderstorms building into northwest Arkansas from Oklahoma during the predawn hours of 04/26/2017. Precipitation weakened (less red and yellow colors), and then reformed over the same areas heading into the morning.
Satellite at 115 am CDT (04/26)  |  Satellite at 315 am CDT (04/26)
Satellite at 515 am CDT (04/26)  |  Satellite at 715 am CDT (04/26)
Satellite at 915 am CDT (04/26)
In the pictures: The satellite showed showers and thunderstorms building into northwest Arkansas from Oklahoma during the predawn hours of 04/26/2017. Precipitation weakened (less red and yellow colors), and then reformed over the same areas heading into the morning.
 

A 61 mph wind gust was measured near Highfill (Benton County). Numerous trees were pushed over at Eureka Springs (Carroll County). Near Bellefonte (Boone County), a tree was toppled across Highway 62. There was also a weak tornado (rated EF1) that cut a swath from four miles southwest of Beaver to almost eight miles east-northeast of Holiday Island (both in Carroll County). Along this thirteen mile track, the tornado damaged homes, destroyed outbuildings, and snapped or uprooted trees. The tornado continued another three miles into Missouri before dissipating.

Storms weakened for a few hours, and then came back to life in roughly the same locations. This time, it was a heavy rain episode. Two to more than three inches of liquid flooded streets in Fayetteville (Washington County). Highway 23 was shut down due to high water at Huntsville (Madison County).   

On the Buffalo River, water levels were on the way up on the 26th when four canoeists headed downstream between Ponca and Pruitt (both in Newton County). The flow surged from 500 cfs (cubic feet per second) the day before to 11,000 cfs. At least two canoes flipped, and the body of one of the paddlers was recovered several days later. 

 

There were a variety of weather headlines across Arkansas during the late morning of 04/26/2017. There was a flood concern in the northwest, with severe thunderstorms and the possibility of tornadoes farther southeast.
In the picture: There were a variety of weather headlines across Arkansas during the late morning of 04/26/2017. There was a flood concern in the northwest, with severe thunderstorms and the possibility of tornadoes farther southeast.
 

While it flooded in the northwest, the focus for severe weather shifted to the southeast. A Tornado Watch was posted for much of the state by late morning. Scattered severe storms ripped through Caulksville (Logan County), and produced tennis ball size hail. Trees fell on homes at Danville, Dardanelle, and Rover (all in Yell County). There was also a brief weak tornado (rated EF0) just north of Chickalah (Yell County).

 

Temperatures at 1200 pm CDT on 04/21/2017. Readings ranged from the 50s across northern Arkansas to the lower 80s in the south.
In the picture: Temperatures at 1200 pm CDT on 04/26/2017. Readings ranged from the 50s across northwest Arkansas to the 70s in the southeast.
 

As storminess advanced to the east, cooler air followed. By noon CDT, temperatures were only in the 50s across much of northern and western Arkansas. The atmosphere was warm and unstable farther southeast, with readings in the 70s.

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed a cluster of thunderstorms south of Little Rock (Pulaski County) bowing out after they moved east of the city during the afternoon of 04/26/2017.
Radar at 325 pm CDT (04/26)  |  Radar at 345 pm CDT (04/26)
Radar at 406 pm CDT (04/26)  |  Radar at 426 pm CDT (04/26)
Radar at 448 pm CDT (04/26)
In the pictures: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed a cluster of thunderstorms south of Little Rock (Pulaski County) bowing out after they moved east of the city during the afternoon of 04/26/2017.
 

In the afternoon, a line of storms came together southwest of Little Rock (Pulaski County) and surged to the northeast. Golf ball size hail was reported a few miles northeast of Malvern (Hot Spring County). After that, it was mostly wind. Trees and power lines were blown down at Brinkley (Monroe County), Cotton Plant (Woodruff County), McCrory (Woodruff County), Trumann (Poinsett County), Wheatley (St. Francis County), and Wynne (Cross County). An estimated 60 mph gust kicked up a lot of dust near Fairmount (Prairie County).

There was more flooding in central and northeast sections of the state. Water ran into the courthouse and several businesses at Walnut Ridge (Lawrence County). County roads were under water near Black Rock (Lawrence County). A road was flooded in Perryville (Perry County), and a car was stranded.

 

 

Twenty four hour rainfall through 800 pm CDT on 04/26/2017.
In the picture: Twenty four hour rainfall through 800 pm CDT on 04/26/2017.
 

By 800 pm CDT, rainfall averaged one to three inches across much of the region. The highest totals were in the northwest. Fayetteville (Washington County) got 2.93 inches, with 2.44 inches at Mountain Home (Baxter County), 2.33 inches at Harrison (Boone County), 2.15 inches at Mount Ida (Montgomery County), and 2.00 inches at Fort Smith (Sebastian County).

 

Storm Reports
Preliminary reports of severe weather and flash flooding in the Little Rock County Warning Area on April 26, 2017 (in red).
Submit a storm report.
There were many reports of damaging straight-line winds, large hail, heavy rain, and flash flooding on April 26th. There were also isolated tornadoes. For a look at the reports, click here.
 
Link of Interest
Plot Reports
In the picture: Preliminary reports of severe weather and flash flooding in the Little Rock County Warning Area on April 26, 2017 (in red).